An inter-parliamentary conference on the EU’s common foreign and security policy, organized as part of the Slovenian EU presidency, on Thursday heard calls for a united and active bloc approach to global challenges.
National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič said that no single member state had the ability to deal only with global issues such as terrorism or pandemics.
National Council President Alojz Kovšca said a joint response to the crisis was also an expression of solidarity among member states.
As the media reported, Slovenian President Borut Pahor stressed the importance of a quick and effective EU response. He added that this was only possible if integration deepened and EU autonomy was strengthened. “If the EU remains merely a community of nation-states, its power and attractiveness will fade.”
According to Pahor, the EU has a responsibility to mitigate conflicts around the world. Afghanistan is one such conflict and poses one of the biggest challenges to the bloc’s common foreign and security policy.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, agreed that the crisis in Afghanistan could be a catalyst that makes the bloc’s foreign policy stronger.
Borrell stressed that the EU would not recognize Afghanistan’s new government, but said it was nevertheless necessary to engage in talks and co-ordination, especially with regard to humanitarian aid as Afghanistan is facing a “biblical humanitarian crisis”.
Both Pahor and Borrell said the EU’s strategic resilience needed to undergo extensive improvements in terms of stronger cyber defense and security capabilities, digital autonomy and critical infrastructure security.
The hybrid conference includes parliamentary delegations from the EU, member states and NATO members. The conference also includes panels on the bloc’s foreign policy priorities, the role of EU foreign policy in a multipolar world and the regional partnership with the Western Balkans.